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Two by Two - The Jerusalem Connection

The New Old anti-Semitism

By: Earl Cox, JPOST— Any humanitarian, religious or not, would call racism in any form a loathsome social evil. One can only imagine the terror and horror of pogroms in the past toward Jews just as the modern day pogroms of Boko Haran against Christians and ISIS against everyone is a terrible and horrible evil today. Real human rights abuses abound. Anyone with Internet exposure is not immune to horrifying scenes of extreme human physical torture, beheadings and deprivation. The phrase, “Mans inhumanity toward man,” is a bromide of many years use because history and mankind do not change, only the times and situations change. As it has been throughout all history, Israel is again the object of racism. The derogatory term used to be, and really still is, “the Jews.” Today the word “Israel” is used as a pejorative as well. The more common descriptive disparaging term vis-à-vis Israel and the Jews is to use the phrase “anti–Semitism.” Truth be told, the word “Semitic” refers not only to Jews but also to Arabs. Bias or prejudice against any people group or nation constitutes racism. Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is absolutely correct in her assessment of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel as representing anti-Semitism because it hurts Jews and Arabs alike but few people talk about this aspect of BDS. This is racism at its very core and it is antithetical to the leftist mantra of political correctness. The current modern usage of the term “politically correct” originates from the tolerance point of view. As it should be, “tolerance” in the Western world is... read more

How to put some teeth into the nuclear deal with Iran

By Dennis Ross and David H. Petraeus, Washington Post— Many members of Congress continue to grapple with the nuclear deal with Iran — and so do we. Like us, the undecideds see its benefits: The deal would block the uranium enrichment, plutonium separation and covert paths to a nuclear bomb for the next 15 years. Compared with today, with an Iran that is three months from break-out capability and with a stockpile of 10 bombs’ worth of low-enriched uranium, there can be little doubt that a deal leaves us far better off , producing a one-year break-out time and permitting the Iranians less than one bomb’s worth of material for the next 15 years . We also don’t believe that if Congress blocks the deal, a better one is going to be negotiated. Will the other members of the P5+1 be ready to return to the table because Congress says no? Will they even know who defines the U.S. position and what it is? We doubt it. So if the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has clear benefits and there is no obvious negotiated alternative , why are we still undecided? Put simply, because the deal places no limits on how much the Iranians can build or expand their nuclear infrastructure after 15 years. Even the monitoring provisions that would continue beyond 15 years may prove insufficient as the Iranian nuclear program grows. And Iran’s ability to dramatically increase its output of enriched material after year 15 would be significant, as Iran deploys five advanced models of centrifuges starting in year 10 of the... read more

Surviving the Obama Presidency and the Iranian Bomb

By: NOAH BECK, Israel Today— When, in 2012, I authored a cautionary tale about the dangers of a nuclear Iran, I never imagined a U.S. president who would, just a few years later, actively try to strengthen Iran’s geopolitical and financial position while providing international legitimacy to the Iranian nuclear program. But sometimes truth is scarier than fiction. In my thriller, 35 Israeli submariners must decide what to do after Iran gets the Bomb. In an unexpected twist on fiction, a small group of undecided members of Congress may similarly have to determine the course of history. They represent the last chance for a democracy to reject the nuclear appeasement of the Ayatollahs. There are reportedly 26 Senate Democrats currently in favor of President Obama’s Iran deal, so eight more are needed to sustain Obama’s veto of a Congressional resolution disapproving of the Iran agreement. But as ineptly negotiated as the Iran agreement is, defeating it would probably be worse, given the political realities. The best possible outcome, at this point, would be a Congressional resolution that rejects the Iran deal but then gets vetoed by Obama. Why? Because if Congress overrides Obama’s veto and defeats the deal, Iran will likely use that as an excuse to abandon whatever limited and temporary constraints it accepted under the agreement. Iran can then – at a time of its choosing – race towards nukes while Obama is still in office, secure in the knowledge that Obama wouldn’t dare to stop Iran militarily. If Obama cowered from enforcing his no-chemical-weapons “red line” against the far weaker Syrian regime in 2013, there is... read more

President of Refugees or Holy Land Celebrity?

By: RYAN JONES, Israel Today— The Palestinian Authority and its collaborators in the mainstream media like to paint the Palestinian-controlled territories as a land oppressed and destitute. But one has only to look at the palatial living standards of the Palestinian leadership to realize something’s fishy. This week, photos emerged on social media showing the newly completed palace of Palestinian “president” Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. Many commenters could be excused for at first glance thinking this was an artist’s rendition of the historical and grandiose Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Plans to construct this princely dwelling were not unknown. Years ago the Palestinian Economic Council for Development & Reconstruction (PECDAR) posted the project details. And in late–2010 Abbas was photographed by the AP as he laid the cornerstone of this new “West Bank” chateau. But there seemed to be some discrepancies between particulars provided by PECDAR and, well, reality. First, the Palestinian leadership described the project as a “public facility,” though it is doubtful the average public will ever see its interior. It is listed as a “guest palace,” ostensibly a residence for visiting dignitaries. But that begs two questions: a.) can the cash-strapped Palestinians really afford to be building such lavish “guest houses”?; and b.) if that’s the presidential “guest” palace, what does Abbas’ primary residence look like?! By way of comparison, here’s a photo of the official, Israeli taxpayer-funded residence of Israel’s prime minister (foreign dignitaries have to stay in a hotel): The second glaring issue is that PECDAR claims construction of Abbas’ palace was “self-financed.” But as any informed observer knows, the bulk of the Palestinian Authority... read more

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Spot Report: “Why is there such hatred of the Jews?”

   Think on this: “O God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God. See how your enemies growl, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.” With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you.” (Psalm 83: 1-5) Pray like this: Father, we confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that you will bless those who bless the seed of Abraham and you will curse those who curse them. Grant us grace to stand with our Jewish elder brothers and sisters as those who hate God will continue to persecute both Jews and Christians. In Jesus’ name,... read more

Scripture Reading for August 29, 2015

Torah: Deuteronomy 21:10 – 25:19, “Ki chezea” (When you go out …) Haftorah: Isaiah 54:1 – 10 New Testament: I Corinthians 5:1-5 Gospel: Matthew 5:27 – 30, “Shematim” (You have heard …... read more

Quote of the week

Richard Nixon said, “Americans admire a people who can scratch a desert and produce a garden. The Israelis have shown qualities that Americans identify with: guts, patriotism, idealism, a passion for freedom.” read more